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Markhor-Needle Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.24 - 20:04:21
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 980m
Participants: Philip Akins, Alex Pickering Mostly class 4 with some exposure and tricky decending. The odd move of low 5th.
Having been up the standard route on Needle several times it was nice to approach this wonderful peak from another direction. We have little to add to previous route descriptions (Eva Boehringer, Drew Brayshaw), which served us well (thank you!). We found the initial bushwack to be less of an ordeal than feared, and the scrambling from then on to be very enjoyable.

2hrs to the top of Markhor, + 2.5 to top of Needle, + 2 (including summit snack) back to car park. A little less than 6.5 total.

A very hot day on the Coquihalla and we really didn't have enough water. Finally filled up from the small pond beneath Needle (south-west) side and dropped in some treatment tabs. I expect this pond dries up in late season, in which case there is no water on the route. Although, as others have noted, there are certainly some low 5th class moves on the route, overall it feels like 4th class. That being said, we did pack a rope (30m, 8mm) and used it twice. As per Eva B. and co., we botched the decent off Markhor and pulled it out to get down one section of the steep grainy slab; then again to belay each other through the 'au cheval' downclimb between the two intermediate summits; we didn't use it at all on Needle.

On the approach to the intermediate summits between Markhor and Needle we questioned whether it was necessary to go up and over these, rather than working around to the east and avoiding some climbing. On closer inspection, however, this appeared to us to be both the most straightforward and the most enjoyable option.

Will try to return in the Fall for the blueberries (and lack of bugs; they were out in force today) and to see if we can't clean up that descent off Markhor.

[photo]GOPR9446.jpg[caption]Markhor from the...

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